Donald R. McClarey
Just when I think I have Pope Francis figured out, I am back at square one. Inside Vatican is reporting that Pope Francis met secretly with Kim Davis:
On Thursday, September 24, in the afternoon after his historic address to Congress, just a few minutes before flying to New York City, Pope Francis received, spoke with, and embraced Kim Davis — the Kentucky County Clerk who was jailed in early September for refusing to sign the marriage licenses of homosexual couples who wished to have their civil marriages certified by the state of Kentucky.
Kim and her husband had come to Washington for another purpose — Kim was to receive a “Cost of Discipleship” award on Friday, September 25, from The Family Research Council at the Omni Shoreham Hotel.
There is no recording of this conversation, or photographs, as far as I know. But “there is not any thing secret that shall not be made manifest, nor hidden, that shall not be known and come to light.” (Luke 8:17)
“The Pope spoke in English,” she told me. “There was no interpreter. ‘Thank you for your courage,’ Pope Francis said to me. I said, ‘Thank you, Holy Father.’ I had asked a monsignor earlier what was the proper way to greet the Pope, and whether it would be appropriate for me to embrace him, and I had been told it would be okay to hug him. So I hugged him, and he hugged me back. It was an extraordinary moment. ‘Stay strong,’ he said to me. Then he gave me a rosary as a gift, and he gave one also to my husband, Joe. I broke into tears. I was deeply moved.
Sandro Magister at his blog Chiesa tells us that the Synod will all come down to what Pope Francis decides:
ROME, September 28, 2015 – Back in Rome after his journey to Cuba and the United States, culminating with the world meeting of families in Philadelphia, Pope Francis is now facing the much more exacting challenge of the synod that will open on October 4, the Sunday of the liturgical year on which – as if by a jest of providence – Catholic churches all around the world will resound with these words of Jesus: “Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate.”
So this time there will be no “Relatio post disceptationem” halfway through the work, after a first phase of free discussion on everything, as at the synod of October 2014. The discussion will be broken up right away into narrow linguistic groups, each of which will sum up its perspectives in reports destined to remain confidential. At the end of the three weeks there will be a vote on a final “Relatio,” and the pope will give the concluding talk.
Also unlike in the past it is not expected that after a few months there will be a postsynodal apostolic exhortation to cap everything off. The discussion will remain open to future developments. The only embodiment of the provisory conclusions will be the pope’s talk at the end of the work, which will as a matter of course overtop and obscure all the other voices.
In spite of the much-heralded emphasis on collegiality, in fact, the next round of the synod will also see at work in Francis a monocratic exercise of papal authority, as in last year’s session, at the end of which the pope kept alive propositions that had not obtained the votes necessary for approval. And they were precisely the ones on the most controversial points, divorce and homosexuality.
A reform of marital cases had been expected for some time. But Francis set it in motion while keeping out the family-centered synod, which he knew was not inclined to approve what he had in mind. He set up the preparatory commission in August of 2014, before the convocation of the first session of the synod. And he signed the motu proprio last August 15, before the second session, scheduling its implementation for next December 8.
The most substantial innovation of the new procedures is that in order to obtain a declaration of nullity, the mere word of the applicant will have the “force of full proof,” without the need for other evidence, and the presumed “lack of faith” will act as a universal master key not just for thousands but for millions of marriages to be declared null, with an ultra-fast procedure and with the local bishop as the sole judge.
On this the synod fathers therefore find themselves facing a fait accompli. But it is hard to imagine that they are not discussing it. Church historian Roberto de Mattei has even hypothesized that some synod fathers may ask for the abrogation of this act of governance on the part of Pope Francis, “up to now his most revolutionary.” And he has cited the historical precedent of the retraction made in 1813 by Pius VII – imprisoned by Napoleon Bonaparte – of his act of subjection of the Holy See to the sovereignty of the emperor: a retraction invoked publicly by Cardinal Bartolomeo Pacca, pro-secretary of state, and by other “zealous” cardinals, as well as by the great spiritual master Pio Brunone Lanteri, a future venerable:
Meanwhile, an appeal has been issued in the American magazine “First Things” by a hefty number of theologians, philosophers, and scholars from various countries, asking the synod fathers to reject paragraph 137 of the preparatory document, judged as contrary to the magisterium of the Church and a portent of confusion among the faithful:
The appeal concerns the teaching of Paul VI’s encyclical “Humanae Vitae” on birth control – an encyclical that Pope Francis himself has called “prophetic” – and numbers among its authors and signatories a good number of professors from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family: Stephan Kampowski, Livio Melina, Jaroslav Merecki, José Noriega, Juan José Pérez-Soba, Mary Shivanandan, Luigi Zucaro, as well as luminaries like the German philosopher Robert Spaemann and the Swiss ethicist Martin Rhonheimer.
In the judgment of the signatories of the appeal, paragraph 137 of the preparatory document assigns absolute primacy to the individual conscience in the selection of the means of birth control, even against the teaching of the Church’s magisterium, with the added risk that such primacy could also be extended to other areas, like abortion and euthanasia.
In effect, it is precisely on the primacy of the individual conscience “beyond what the rule might say objectively” that the supporters of communion for the divorced and remarried rely, as one of these, cardinal of Vienna Christoph Schönborn explained in an interview with “La Civiltà Cattolica” of September 26:
“There are situations in which the priest, the guide, who knows the persons, can come to the point of saying: ‘Your situation is such that, in conscience, in your and in my conscience as a pastor, I see your place in the sacramental life of the Church.’”
The split between the individual conscience and the magisterium of the Church is analogous to that which separates pastoral practice from doctrine: a danger that in the judgment of many looms over the synod and has been the object of very strong words from Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith, in a lecture given on September 1 in Regensburg on the occasion of the release of the German edition of Cardinal Robert Sarah’s book “God or Nothing”:
According to Müller, “the separation of teaching and practice of the faith” was precisely that which in the 16th century led to the schism in the Western Church. With the deceptive practice of indulgences, the Church of Rome was in fact ignoring doctrine and “the original protest of Luther himself against the negligence of the shepherds of the Church was justified, because one may not play with the salvation of souls, even if the purpose of the deception would be to bring about a good deed.”
And today – the cardinal continued – the question is the same: “We may not deceive the people, when it comes to the sacramentality of marriage, its indissolubility, its openness toward the child, and the fundamental complementarity of the two sexes. Pastoral care must keep in view the eternal salvation, and it should not try to be superficially pleasing according to the wishes of the people.”
On September 29 there will be a repeat presentation in Rome, backed up with 800,000 signatures including those of 202 cardinals and bishops, of the “Filial Appeal” to Pope Francis that he pronounce “a word of clarification” against the “widespread confusion arising from the possibility that a breach has been opened within the Church that would accept adultery—by permitting divorced and then civilly remarried Catholics to receive Holy Communion—and would virtually accept even homosexual unions.”
“The urgent priority, for me, is that the synod would suggest to the Holy Father a magisterial statement that would unify by simplifying the doctrine on marriage. A statement aimed at demonstrating the relationship between the experience of faith and the sacramental nature of marriage.”
On September 30, at the Angelicum University, cardinals Carlo Caffarra and Raymond Leo Burke, two of the five cardinals who on the verge of the synod of 2014 took a stance against their colleague Walter Kasper with the book “Remaining in the Truth of Christ,” will reassert their ideas together with Archbishop Cyril Vasil, secretary of the congregation for the Oriental Churches and also a coauthor of the book.
And two more books with the same perspective are about to come out, written by not just five cardinals but seventeen, from Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas, six of whom will take part in the synod either by reason of office, like the Guinean Robert Sarah, or because they were appointed by the pope himself, like the Italian Caffarra:
William F. Buckley on Ayn Rand. During his lifetime Buckley functioned as a gatekeeper for the conservative movement. Get on the wrong side of Buckley and a group on the right could quickly find itself relegated to the fringes of American life. So it was with Ayn Rand and her Objectivists, a movement whose main tenet seems to have been to say “Yes Ma’am!” to anything that came from her mouth or pen. Rand made her reputation and fortune by writing two novels: The Fountainhead (1943) and Atlas Shrugged (1957). The poorly written novels, with stick figure characters, were immense financial successes, combining Rand’s anti-collectivist libertarianism with heaping helpings of, for the time, explicit sex, her heroines, always Rand think-a-likes, having multiple lovers. Between the sex Rand specialized in long, bloviating, didactic speeches:
“Did you want to see it used by whining rotters who never rouse themselves to any effort, who do not possess the ability of a filing clerk, but demand the income of a company president, who drift from failure to failure and expect you to pay their bills, who hold their wishing as an equivalent of your work and their need as a higher claim to reward than your effort, who demand that you serve them, who demand that it be the aim of your life to serve them, who demand that your strength be the voiceless, rightless, unpaid, unrewarded slave of their impotence, who proclaim that you are born to serfdom by reason of your genius, while they are born to rule by the grace of incompetence, that yours is only to give, but theirs only to take, that yours is to produce, but theirs to consume, that you are not to be paid, neither in matter nor in spirit, neither by wealth nor by recognition nor by respect nor by gratitude—so that they would ride on your rail and sneer at you and curse you, since they owe you nothing, not even the effort of taking off their hats which you paid for? Would this be what you wanted? Would you feel proud of it?”
Atlas Shrugged, page 453
Buckley assigned Whittaker Chambers to review Atlas Shrugged. His review, entitled Big Sister is Watching You, appeared in the December 28, 1957 issue of National Review.
Several years ago, Miss Ayn Rand wrote The Fountainhead. Despite a generally poor press, it is said to have sold some four hundred thousand copies. Thus, it became a wonder of the book trade of a kind that publishers dream about after taxes. So Atlas Shrugged had a first printing of one hundred thousand copies. It appears to be slowly climbing the best-seller lists. Continue reading
Sarah Owens at The Federalist details her experience at
Planned Parenthood Worse Than Murder Inc. five years ago:
Two years into college, I found myself late—yes, that kind of late. Now, I knew it was probably nothing, but I wasn’t sure, and I wanted to be. Like a lot of college students, I drank on weekends and if I were pregnant I didn’t want to harm the child. Again, due to embarrassment, I didn’t go to the doctor I knew. I was afraid, even at 20 years old, that a pregnancy test would somehow show up on a bill that went to my parents. If I wasn’t pregnant I didn’t want the test to ever come to light. So, again I trekked to Planned Parenthood, this one located right off campus.
I had to fill out a form. On it you check the boxes of things you are willing to consider. The options essentially broke down to a) abortion b) adoption c) parenting. I chalked it up to alphabetical order that abortion came first. At this point in life, I still solidly fell on the “I would never have an abortion, but other people should be able to” side of the fence. I checked options B and C, took the test, and was taken into a room to hear my results. Before getting those results, I was interrogated.
“Why won’t you consider abortion?” the representative asked. “You realize what a strain on your life parenting would be, don’t you?” I explained that abortion just wasn’t something I personally believed in. She scoffed at me before finally telling me I wasn’t pregnant.
I left the office and cried. Maybe it was relief, but I mostly felt hurt and manipulated. What if I had been pregnant—would she have been able to sway me? How many others have passed through those doors and were swayed to terminate, who felt the strain—financial, physical, or mental—that parenting might cause so decided it would be easier to just “fix the problem”?
Go here to read the rest. Sarah’s story helps underline the lie behind the pro-abort claim to be “pro-choice”. First, you cannot be “pro-choice” without being a pro-abort. (I would never own a slave, but I would never impose my morality on slave-holders. I would never gas a Jew but who am I to judge the Nazis? I would never kill my toddler, but that child murderer probably had her reasons.) A choice between two alternatives is only morally acceptable if both of the choices are at least morally neutral. Slaying an unborn child never is.
Second, pro-aborts fight tooth and nail against any effort to provide information to a pregnant woman that may persuade her against abortion. They are “pro-choice” only if the right choice is made: abortion.
Third, the “pro-choice” mantra is especially risible coming from
Planned Parenthood Worse Than Murder, Inc.: their blood money empire is based on dead fetuses. They make no money from a woman not having an abortion.
Abby Johnson, pro-life crusader who was the director of a
Planned Parenthood Worse Than Murder Inc. clinic, recalls how abortion was pushed:
Bigots at work:
“Concelebration, whereby the unity of the priesthood is appropriately manifested, has remained in use to this day in the Church both in the east and in the west. For this reason it has seemed good to the Council to extend permission for concelebration…”
Back just prior to the Protestant Reformation a Jewish merchant in Florence was friends with a Catholic merchant. The Jewish merchant expressed a desire to convert, but decided to go to Rome to observe the workings of the leadership of the Church. The Catholic merchant was dismayed, assuming the corruption at Rome would convince his friend to have nothing to do with Catholicism. To the contrary! A month later the Jewish merchant was back in Florence and told his Catholic friend that he was going to be baptized next Easter. When his friend cautiously inquired about what he had seen in Rome, his Jewish friend said that what he saw there convinced him to convert. If he ran his business the way the Church in Rome operated he would be bankrupt and in jail in a week. Yet the Church had survived for 15 centuries with such villainy at the top! It must be from God!
Little has apparently changed in 500 years:
The authorized biography of Cardinal Godfried Danneels, out next week, is even more of a bombshell than expected. Not only do the two authors, Jürgen Mettepenningen and Karim Schelkens, reveal that the Cardinal was a regular member of a secret pressure group of Churchmen that met in the Swiss town of Sankt-Gallen, but the Cardinal himself has publicly and good-humoredly admitted the fact.
Danneels even said that what was officially but discreetly labeled “the Sankt-Gallen group” was referred to by its members as “the Mafia”. Its self-imposed aim was to counter the growing influence of Cardinal Ratzinger under the pontificate of Saint John Paul II, serving as a sort of outlet where handpicked cardinals and bishops could express their impatience at the traditional mindset of the Pope and his closest counsellor.
The Belgian press doesn’t hesitate to say that one of the group’s primary goals was the promotion of Cardinal Bergoglio (now Pope Francis) in view of John Paul II’s nearing death – something the book itself, which is not yet available in bookstores, perhaps clarifies. The Sankt-Gallen group certainly aimed to promote the ideas and preferences for which they had found a champion in Pope Francis.
Said Schelkens in an interview this week: “The election of Bergoglio was prepared in Sankt-Gallen, without doubt. And the main lines of the program the Pope is carrying out are those that Danneels and Co were starting to discuss more than ten years ago.”
“They wanted Church reform, they wanted to bring the Church closer to the hearts of people; they moved forward by stages,” commented Mettepenningen. “At the beginning of the year 2000, when John Paul II’s end was becoming more foreseeable, they thought more strategically about what was going to happen to the Church after John Paul II. When Cardinal Silvestrini joined the group it took on a more tactical and strategic character.” Continue reading
Benjamin Franklin had ceaseless energy to match his brilliant mind. In 1779 while our ambassador to France, and involved in ceaseless negotiations to make sure that the new found alliance did not founder, he found time to write a brief monograph on chess, perhaps his favorite game:
The game of Chess is not merely an idle amusement. Several very valuable qualities of the mind, useful in the course of human life, are to be acquired or strengthened by it, so as to become habits, ready on all occasions.
1. Foresight, which looks a little into futurity, and considers the consequences that may attend an action; for it is continually occuring to the player, ‘If I move this piece, what will be the advantages or disadvantages of my new situation? What use can my adversary make of it to annoy me? What other moves can I make to support it, and to defend myself from his attacks?
2. Circumspection, which surveys the whole chessboard, or scene of action; the relations of the several pieces and situations, the dangers they are respectively exposed to, the several possibilities of their aiding each other, the probabilities that the adversary may make this or that move, and attack this or the other piece, and what different means can be used to avoid his stroke, or turn its consequences against him.
3. Caution, not to make our moves too hastily. This habit is best acquired, by observing strictly the laws of the game; such as, If you touch a piece, you must move it somewhere; if you set it down, you must let it stand. And it is therefore best that these rules should be observed, as the game becomes thereby more the image of human life, and particularly of war . . .
And lastly, we learn by Chess the habit of not being discouraged by present appearances in the state of our affairs, the habit of hoping for a favourable change, and that of persevering in the search of resources. The game is so full of events, there is such a variety of turns in it, the fortune of it is so subject to sudden vicissitudes, and one so frequently, after long contemplation, discovers the means of extricating one’s self from a supposed insurmountable difficulty, that one is encouraged to continue the contest to the last, in hopes of victory from our own skill, or at least of getting a stalemate from the negligence of our adversary . . .
If your adversary is long in playing, you ought not to hurry him, or express any uneasiness at his delay. You should not sing, nor whistle, nor look at your watch, not take up a book to read, nor make a tapping with your feet on the floor, or with your fingers on the table, nor do anything that may disturb his attention. For all these things displease; and they do not show your skill in playing, but your craftiness or your rudeness.
You ought not to endeavour to amuse and deceive your adversary, by pretending to have made bad moves, and saying that you have now lost the game, in order to make him secure and careless, and inattentive to your schemes: for this is fraud and deceit, not skill in the game. Continue reading
17 These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.
18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.
19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.
20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
2 Peter 2: 17-22
Both the videos should be parodies, but sadly only the one below from those brilliantly twisted folks at The Lutheran Satire is an intentional one:
You know it is bad when even CNN notices it:
Francis paid historical homage to those values, citing, for example, the Quakers who founded this city. But there were no explicit references to any of the U.S. Catholic bishops’ recent battles over religious rights.
There was no mention, for example, of the Little Sisters of the Poor’s lawsuit against the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act. (On Wednesday, though Francis did meet with the nuns in Washington — a “show of support,” according to a Vatican spokesman.)
Francis never mentioned the Catholic adoption agencies that have closed rather than place children with gay couples. Nor did he explicitly allude to the “Fortnight for Freedom” that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops have held to rally support against “current threats to religious liberty.” Continue reading
To one who turns the pages of your history and reflects upon the causes of what has been accomplished it is apparent that the triumphal progress of Divine religion has contributed in no small degree to the glory and prosperity which your country now enjoys. It is indeed true that religion has its laws and institutions for eternal happiness but It is also undeniable that it dowers life here below with so many benefits that it could do no more even if the principal reason for its existence were to make men happy during the brief span of their earthly life.
Pius XII, SERTUM LAETITIAE (1939)
The first papal visit to the United States is usually thought to be that of Pope Paul VI in 1965. However, Cardinal Pacelli, the future Pius XII, visited the United States in October-November 1936, becoming the first man who served as pope to set foot in the land of the free and the home of the brave. As Papal Secretary of State, foreign travel came as part of the job, but the purpose behind his visit is still something of a mystery. Some historians have claimed that he struck a deal with FDR by which the United States would establish diplomatic relations with the Vatican in exchange for the Church silencing radio priest Father Coughlin, initially a supporter of FDR but by 1936 a fierce critic.
It was usual for Pacelli to take an annual vacation and he changed plans to visit Switzerland for the United States on short notice. He met with FDR on November 5, the day after his re-election. He did secure a promise that he would appoint a personal representative from him to the Vatican, although this promise was not fulfilled until 1939, after Pacelli was elected Pope.
Pacelli never met with Father Coughlin. During his tour of the US, Pacelli brushed aside questions about Coughlin from newspaper reporters, although he made it clear that the Vatican did not agree with his criticisms of Roosevelt.
After the election Coughlin did cease broadcasting briefly, although he returned to the radio in 1937. As for Pacelli, he came away with a keen perception of both the strengths and weaknesses of the Church in the US. His comments in Sertum Laetitiae, issued in 1939 on the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of the US hierarchy, now seem prophetic:
12. Among the associations of the laity – the list is too long to allow of a complete enumeration – there are those which have won for themselves laurels of unfading glory – Catholic Action, the Marian Congregation, the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; their fruits are the cause of joy and they bear the promise of still more joyful harvest in the future. Likewise the Holy Name Society, an excellent leader in the promotion of Christian worship and piety.
13. Over a manifold activity of the laity, carried on in various localities according to the needs of the times, is placed the National Catholic Welfare Conference, an organization which supplies a ready and well-adapted instrument for your Episcopal ministry.
14. The more important of these institutions We were able to view briefly during the month of October, 1936, when We journeyed across the ocean and had the joy of knowing personally you and the field of your activities. The memory of what We then admired with Our own eyes will always remain indelible and a source of joy in Our heart.
15. It is proper then that, with sentiments of adoration, We offer with you thanks to God and that We raise to Him a canticle of thanksgiving: “Give glory to the God of heaven; for his mercy endureth for ever” (Psalms cxxxv: 26). The Lord Whose goodness knows no limits, having filled your land with the bounty of His gifts, has likewise granted to your churches energy and power and has brought to fruition the results of their tireless labors. Having paid the tribute of Our gratitude to God, from Whom every good thing takes its origin, We recognize, dearly beloved, that this rich harvest which We joyfully admire with you today is due also to the spirit of initiative and to the persistent activity of the pastors and of the faithful; We recognize that it is due also to your clergy who are inclined to decisive action and who execute your orders with zeal; to the members of all the religious Orders and congregations of men who, distinguished in virtue, vie with each other in cultivating the vineyard of the Lord: to the innumerable religious women who, often in silence and unknown to men, consecrate themselves with exemplary devotion to the cause of the Gospel, veritable lilies in the Garden of Christ and delight of the Saints.
16. We desire, however, that this Our praise be salutary. The consideration of the good which has been done must not lead to slackening which might degenerate into sluggishness; it must not issue in a vainglorious pleasure which flatters the mind; it should stimulate renewed energies so that evils may be avoided and those enterprises which are useful, prudent and worthy of praise may more surely and more solidly mature. The Christian, if he does honor to the name he bears, is always an apostle; it is not permitted to the Soldier of Christ that he quit the battlefield, because only death puts an end to his military service.
17. You well know where it is necessary that you exercise a more discerning vigilance and what program of action should be marked out for priests and faithful in order that the religion of Christ may overcome the obstacles in its path and be a luminous guide to the minds of men, govern their morals and, for the sole purpose of salvation, permeate the marrow and the arteries of human society. The progress of exterior and material possessions, even though it is to be considered of no little account, because of the manifold and appreciable utility which it gives to life, is nonetheless not enough for man who is born for higher and brighter destinies. Created indeed to the image and likeness of God, he seeks God with a yearning that will not be repressed and always groans and weeps if he places the object of his love where Supreme Truth and the Infinite Good cannot be found.
18. Not with the conquest of material space does one approach to God, separation from Whom is death, conversion to Whom is life, to be established in Whom is glory; but under the guidance of Christ with the fullness of sincere faith, with unsullied conscience and upright will, with holy works, with the achievement and the employment of that genuine liberty whose sacred rules are found proclaimed in the Gospel. If, instead, the Commandments of God are spurned, not only is it impossible to attain that happiness which has place beyond the brief span of time which is allotted to earthly existence, but the very basis upon which rests true civilization is shaken and naught is to be expected but ruins over which belated tears must be shed. How, in fact, can the public weal and the glory of civilized life have any guarantee of stability when right is subverted and virtue despised and decried? Is not God the Source and the Giver of law? Is He not the inspiration and the reward of virtue with none like unto Him among lawgivers (Cf. Job XXXVI:22)? This, according to the admission of all reasonable men, is everywhere the bitter and prolific root of evils: the refusal to recognize the Divine Majesty, the neglect of the moral law, the origin of which is from Heaven, or that regrettable inconstancy which makes its victims waver between the lawful and the forbidden, between justice and iniquity. Continue reading
When MacArthur took up his command as Supreme Commander Allied Powers it was suggested by aides that he summon Hirohito to appear before him. MacArthur rejected that suggestion, stating that it was important that Hirohito come to him voluntarily. That he did on September 27, 1945, the first of eight meetings between the Emperor and the American Shogun. The meeting lasted only a few minutes with Hirohito taking complete responsibility for the War and requesting that any punishment for the War fall on him. MacArthur said that the War was over and that he wished to work with the Emperor for the betterment of Japan. Continue reading
A telling symbol for this pontificate:
As Congress members rushed to touch Pope Francis after Thursday’s historic address on the House floor, Rep. Bob Brady reportedly made a beeline for the podium to swipe the Holy Father’s discarded water glass.
The Pennsylvania congressman immediately took a sip out of the glass and brought it back to his office, ABC News reported.
“The congressman is a Catholic and has immense respect for the Holy Father,” Rep. Brady’s Chief of Staff Stan White told ABC.
His office confirmed that Mr. Brady drank from the water and shared it with members of his staff and his wife, Debra Brady.
Rep. Brady “was immensely moved by the speech. He thought the Holy Father spoke to issues he cared deeply about … especially caring about the poor and the Holy Father’s concern about our environment,” Mr. White told ABC.
The congressman kept the remainder of the water and plans to sprinkle it on his grandchildren, Mr. White said. Continue reading
From the only reliable source of Catholic news on the net, Eye of the Tiber:
In a strategic attempt to speak about abortion at the White House without being “lambasted” by the media Wednesday, Pope Francis spent the majority of his time substituting the words “environment” and “climate change” for the actual subject of his address: abortion.
“It seems clear to me that abortion, I mean climate change, is a problem which can no longer be left to a future generation,” Francis said, catching his gaffe, the first of many, during the talk. “Mr. President, I find it encouraging that you are proposing an initiative for reducing abortions, excuse me…that is, air pollution,” Francis said. “Accepting the urgency, it seems clear to me also that killing babies in the womb, sorry, I had a long flight…I meant climate change is a problem which can no longer be left to a future generation.”
Francis twice quoted his own encyclical on the environment, which many believe was actually an encyclical on abortion.
“When it comes to the care of our ‘common home’, which is not unlike that of a womb if you kinda think about it, not that I’m talking about abortion right now, of course, we are living at a critical moment of history,” he said. “We still have time to make the changes needed to bring about an end to this genocide…excuse me, did I say genocide? Weird. By genocide, I meant, a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change. Such change demands on our part a serious and responsible recognition of the kind of world we may be leaving to our children. Children that are procreated from the love of a man and a woman, and that are defenseless inside their mother wombs and should be protected from abor…climate change.” Continue reading
Something for the weekend. I am in a disgusted mood at the papal events of this week, and when I am in such a mood it is time for a little Irish rebel music, and nothing fits the bill better than The Rising of the Moon. The song, written around 1865, celebrates the Irish rising of 1798, when Protestant and Catholic Irishmen, with the help of a small French invasion force, launched a rebellion, probably the largest and most hard fought revolt against English rule in the history of Ireland. Like all such Irish revolts, except for the last one, it was defeated and drowned in blood. However, the Irish have ever celebrated their defeats even more than their victories, and The Rising of the Moon is a fitting tribute.
Oh! then tell me, Shawn O’Ferrall, Tell me why you hurry so?”
“Hush ma bouchal, hush and listen”, And his cheeks were all a-glow.
“I bear ordhers from the captain, Get you ready quick and soon,
For the pikes must be together At the risin’ of the moon”.
At the risin’ of the moon, at the risin’ of the moon,
For the pikes must be together at the risin’ of the moon.
“Oh! then tell me, Shawn O’Ferrall, Where the gatherin’ is to be?”
“In the ould spot by the river, Right well known to you and me.
One word more—for signal token Whistle up the marchin’ tune,
With your pike upon your shoulder, By the risin’ of the moon”.
By the risin’ of the moon, by the risin’ of the moon,
With your pike upon your shoulder, by the risin’ of the moon.
Out from many a mudwall cabin Eyes were watching thro’ that night,
Many a manly chest was throbbing For the blessed warning light.
Murmurs passed along the valleys Like the banshee’s lonely croon,
And a thousand blades were flashing At the risin’ of the moon.
At the risin’ of the moon, at the risin’ of the moon,
And a thousand blades were flashing at the risin’ of the moon.
There beside the singing river That dark mass of men was seen,
Far above the shining weapons Hung their own beloved green.
“Death to ev’ry foe and traitor! Forward! strike the marchin’ tune,
And hurrah, my boys, for freedom! ‘T is the risin’ of the moon”.
‘T is the risin’ of the moon, ‘t is the risin’ of the moon,
And hurrah my boys for freedom! ‘t is the risin’ of the moon.
Well they fought for poor old Ireland, And full bitter was their fate
(Oh! what glorious pride and sorrow Fill the name of Ninety-Eight).
Yet, thank God, e’en still are beating Hearts in manhood’s burning noon,
Who would follow in their footsteps, At the risin’ of the moon!
At the rising of the moon, at the risin’ of the moon,
Who would follow in their footsteps, at the risin’ of the moon. Continue reading
It has long been a pretense of Mark Shea that he does not read The American Catholic. That pretense slipped today:
So the Pope spoke to Congress yesterday and the righties of St. Blogs are going mad because, just like Benedict XVI addressing European Parliamentarians, he never mentioned the word abortion. But, of course, since he’s Francis and not Benedict, we are to conclude that this makes him (I am not making this up) the worst Pope since Alexander VI as well as Che Guevara’s Pope according to the not-at-all-unhinged assessment of the Rightwingosphere. Moral: If you say, ““The Golden Rule also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development” nobody will understand that the Church still opposes abortion.
And so the Rightwingsophere is awash with outrage today because the Pope, in the ear of the Right “failed to mention abortion”.
Yet strangely, the ears on the Left had no difficulty hearing his mention of abortion and are under no illusion that he has somehow changed the Church’s teaching on the matter. Indeed, some on the Left are still furious at him for saying that there is any sin to forgive at all.
So why is it that Francis, doing the same thing Benedict did, is The Worst Pope Since Alexander VI?
Go here to read the rest. Well, I’ll tell you why Mark. Because Pope Benedict made this statement:
“protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death;” while Pope Francis, in the middle of giving a big air kiss to every piece of the leftist agenda before Congress, immediately segued into a rant against the death penalty:
The Golden Rule also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development.
This conviction has led me, from the beginning of my ministry, to advocate at different levels for the global abolition of the death penalty. I am convinced that this way is the best, since every life is sacred, every human person is endowed with an inalienable dignity, and society can only benefit from the rehabilitation of those convicted of crimes. Recently my brother bishops here in the United States renewed their call for the abolition of the death penalty. Not only do I support them, but I also offer encouragement to all those who are convinced that a just and necessary punishment must never exclude the dimension of hope and the goal of rehabilitation.”
He could not expend even some hot air in defense of the unborn for fear it would offend his Democrat allies on issues obviously much more important to him than the defense of the weakest among us. Imagine if he had called for the defunding of Planned Parenthood! Pope Francis is the perfect leftist Catholic: a man who cares deeply for leftist initiatives and will not even pay lip service when it counted, and when he had a national audience, on behalf of the unborn. He is either a coward or he simply doesn’t give a damn about the unborn, at least in comparison to such monumental Catholic moral issues like global warming. That is where his heart is and he will prostitute his papacy to advance the leftist agenda he so fiercely embraces. Bend yourself into a pretzel Mark in defense of Pope Francis all you wish, and I suspect that you will have far more contortions to do before this pontificate is concluded.
Facing a revolt among House conservatives that would likely have toppled him, House Speaker John Boehner has announced his resignation:
WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) today issued the following statement:
“My mission every day is to fight for a smaller, less costly, and more accountable government. Over the last five years, our majority has advanced conservative reforms that will help our children and their children. I am proud of what we have accomplished.
“The first job of any Speaker is to protect this institution that we all love. It was my plan to only serve as Speaker until the end of last year, but I stayed on to provide continuity to the Republican Conference and the House. It is my view, however, that prolonged leadership turmoil would do irreparable damage to the institution. To that end, I will resign the Speakership and my seat in Congress on October 30.
“Today, my heart is full with gratitude for my family, my colleagues, and the people of Ohio’s Eighth District. God bless this great country that has given me – the son of a bar owner from Cincinnati – the chance to serve.”